The cankerworm of sex for grades eating deep into the education sector in Nigeria and West Africa needs urgent attention. The situation is disheartening because oftentimes, it is the focused and serious students that suffer most at the end of the day.
For instance, how will a studious student feel after he/she has put aside everything else, including clubbing and partying, to study hard for a semester only to find other less serious students laugh at him/her, when the semester’s result is released, because they (less serious students) either have equal grades with him/her or even surpass him/her in a few courses? This will definitely dampen the morale of such students. This has a ripple effect on their future seriousness and academic performance.
Today, many multinational firms in Nigeria and other private firms prefer to employ expatriates or Nigerian students who studied in foreign universities. The simple reason is that Nigerian graduates (especially those who studied at home) are un-employable. Some people attribute such challenges to the rottenness in our higher institutions of learning. How true it is remains largely rhetorical.
I have sat on several interview panels to employ new staff for a few firms and I can attest to this claim (or un-employability of Nigerian graduates) because our Universities are only turning out “Junks” as graduates. Instead for our institutions to be places of high level of morals and serious knowledge acquisition centres, they have turned to places of moral decadence and “Skills Dampening Centres”.
However, all is not bad at all as “yours sincerely” bags all his degrees in Nigeria and I know several students who are putting their best into their studies. Some have also won several awards and accolades from home and abroad in their chosen fields. Moreover, a few lecturers are also classic in their approach and are doing well to produce sound students in Nigerian universities, kudos must be given to these set of people and universities that are upright.
It is therefore imperative for our university authorities to stand to the occasion and restore the pride of our universities. The National Universities Commission (NUC) should also step up its regulatory role beyond only accreditation of programmes and courses to general overseeing of the universities. The NUC can set up a “Sexual Harassment and Proper Conduct Centre” where students can send complains when the need arises and which can reward university staff for good conducts too. This will help to curb the menace of “sex for Grades” and other vices in our education system and help to sustain the progress we have recorded in the past in Nigeria.